WUI in the News
Apr 2009 contains 13 News Articles.
Hundreds flee as wildfire scorches homes in S. Carolina
USA Today - 24 Apr 2009
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - A wildfire that burned dozens of homes and forced thousands of residents in this tourist mecca to evacuate could take days to contain and may need a tropical storm to completely extinguish, South Carolina fire officials said. Firefighters say calm winds overnight allowed them to hold steady against a wildfire that has burned 31 square miles near one of South Carolina's busiest tourist areas. State Forestry Commission spokeswoman Holly Welch said early Friday that there was no indication that additional homes had burned in the overnight hours. The blaze that started Wednesday west of Myrtle Beach has destroyed about 70 homes and damaged about 100 others. Welch said 30 firefighters manned containment lines overnight. Officials estimated late Thursday that the blaze was about 40% contained. It was expected to move north, away from the busiest stretch of beach hotels.
Give a bird a break with native plants
Mother Nature Network - 23 Apr 2009
Happy International Migratory Bird Day! Today kicks off Bird Fest week at the National Zoo. Time to give a little back to our feathered friends, who, after all, turn each spring morning into a free music festival: bel canto, flute concertos, jazz improv. But due to urban sprawl, deforestation and pesticides in the U.S. as well as their tropical winter homes, songbird populations are significantly declining. Because songbird habitat is so fragmented, they're always on the lookout for pit stops, as it were, between swaths of meadow and forest. Birds of different species, which frequent different flyways across our nation, often prefer a region's specific native plants for food and shelter. By placing even a few indigenous plants outdoors, whether you live in a rural, urban or suburban place, you can help sustain a threatened bird. For examples, see Audubon's Plants for Watchlist Birds.
As Wild Horses Breed, a Voice for Contraception
The New York Times - 20 Apr 2009
The long-simmering controversy over what to do with America's wild horses has come to a boil again.Last summer federal officials said they had so many wild horses in captivity - about 34,000 and growing - that they wanted authority to euthanize them, and some states are considering slaughter. It costs $27 million a year to care for the animals, according to the Bureau of Land Management, which oversees the wild horse program. In February, Representatives Nick J. Rahall, Democrat of West Virginia, and Rep. Ra M. Grijalva, Democrat of Arizona, introduced federal legislation to prevent slaughter.The real answer, according to Jay F. Kirkpatrick, director of the nonprofit science and conservation center at ZooMontana in Billings, is an immunocontraceptive called P.Z.P.
Batty about Bats
University of Arizona News - 20 Apr 2009
As Arizona's population grows, so does the urban-wildlife interface - leading to increased encounters with bats. To educate the public on rabies exposure prevention and bat conservation, The University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences collaborated on a new informative publication. The recently published Cooperative Extension publication
Crane deaths raise alarm about water rights
Houston Chronicle - 19 Apr 2009
A record number of whooping cranes have died while wintering along the Texas coast this year, leaving biologists stunned and once again placing the Guadalupe River at the center of the state's ongoing battle over water rights. A dry spell has reduced the Guadalupe's flow so severely that the supply of fresh water and food for the endangered whooping cranes dwindled in San Antonio Bay. As a result, 23 whoopers have perished, the deadliest year on record for the majestic bird, federal and state wildlife officials said. The die-off has infused a jolt of heightened urgency into the debate over the amount and timing of flows in the Guadalupe and how to to protect the river's ecosystem and the Gulf Coast estuaries that depend on fresh water. Historically in Texas, water not tapped by cities, ranchers and industry and left to run to the Gulf of Mexico has been considered wasted.
Early Earth Day celebration targets urban oasis
Sun Sentinel - 19 Apr 2009
On a muddy creek bank, a group of children gathered today to help John U. Lloyd Beach State Park thrive despite the booming civilization that surrounds it. Kylee Moreau, 9, of Plantation, and Helen Gordon, 10, of Miramar, dug holes in the watery mud for red mangroves, shoreline trees that prevent erosion and provide nursery, feeding and breeding grounds for fish, birds and other wildlife.
Study-abroad course benefiting range students
Ag News - 14 Apr 2009
Students are getting a first-hand look at a diversified scale of rangeland and wildlife activities in southern Africa as part of an ecosystem management study-abroad course at Texas A&M University. Since 2002, Dr. Urs Kreuter, a Texas AgriLife Research rangeland scientist and professor at Texas A&M, has taken five classes averaging about 16 students each to South Africa, giving them the opportunity to â€œexperience biodiversity conservation and nature tourism in a developing country.â€
Girding Against the Fire Season
KQED - 14 Apr 2009
Last year, California's fire season got off to an early and catastrophic start - and this year, generous spring rains could not cover the shortfall from two previous years of scarce precipitation. The late rains might forestall fire conditions for a while but more fires are inevitable. Last June, more than 1,000 wildfires started in one weekend. Throughout the course of the season, thousands more fires burned and hundreds of homes were damaged. But if you're among those who live in the
NWF: Don't Plant Just a Garden- Plant a Wildlife Garden
Public News Service - 14 Apr 2009
Naturalist David Mizjewski of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) says your garden also can be your own backyard wildlife habitat. It's good for the wildlife, and also for garden plants that need wildlife to bloom and grow, he explains.
Foresters and firefighters promote Firewise program
WLOX ABC - 14 Apr 2009
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It's a problem that threatens thousands of South Mississippi homes each year. Wildfires can't always be prevented, but there are some things home owners can do to minimize the risk. That was the subject of a community conference in Biloxi on Tuesday. Hundreds of South Mississippi neighborhoods border the woods. Firefighters call that boundary the Wildland-Urban Interface. As it increases, so does the risk of wildfire.
Humane treatment? Maybe. Deadly? Hmmm, afraid so.
Pamplin Media Group - 9 Apr 2009
Take Portland's large population of urban-dwelling raccoons and opossums. Actually, you can't take them. You can live with them, which is what urban naturalists hope you're willing to do. Or you can kill them, which is what a growing number of local wildlife-control companies do for you. But what you or those companies can't do is trap and relocate the critters that have taken up residence in your crawl space, or are threatening your dog or cat. 'It's been sold to the public as a win, win - we'll get rid of your problem and take it somewhere better,' says Bob Sallinger, conservation director for the Audubon Society of Portland. 'But it's really very environmentally destructive.' And illegal.
Homeowners should take steps to create 'defensible spaces' around properties
Explorer - 8 Apr 2009
Northwest Fire District's Ironwood Hotshots were called last week to Kitt Peak to fight their first official Arizona wildfire of the season. Brushfire danger in greater Tucson area isn't far behind, and Northwest firefighters said homes should be defended by ridding properties of
Report lists America's 10 most endangered rivers
CNN - 7 Apr 2009
Rivers are the arteries of our infrastructure. Flowing from highlands to the sea, they breathe life into ecosystems and communities. But many rivers in the United States are in trouble. Rivers in Alaska, California and the South are among the 10 most endangered, according to a report released Tuesday by American Rivers, a leading river conservation group. The annual report uses data from thousands of rivers groups, local governments, environmental organizations and citizen watchdogs to identify waterways under imminent threat by dams, industry or development.